Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Baby it's cold outside

-1 in the 'burg today.  Okay, that's cold.  Keeping in mind that cold is relative, though, I know that there are plenty of folks in the US and around the world who have been "enjoying" those temps or lower for months already.

Lots going around on Facebook today; kids happy to have off school for cold weather, parents scrambling to find childcare because their kids are off school, and us older, wiser folks lamenting the days gone by when school didn't get canceled unless you truly could not get the buses out in the streets even with their chains on.

Just to say I did so, let me reminisce a bit.  I remember when... I attended Christian school and was forced to wear a skirt or dress but on the cold days we could wear pants under our dresses for added warmth (and, I always thought, modesty on the playground).  It made such a lovely fashion statement and I'm sure it was the forerunner to today's leggings and long shirts or dresses.  Yes, it was cold at the bus stop but with our pants and boots and coats and hats and scarves and layers upon layers we actually survived while waiting.  Go figure.  Sometimes, our parents drove us to the bus stop to wait in a warm car.  More often, they dressed up in their own layers and walked with us.  As we got older, they just stood at the door in the warm house and watched us go.

The Good Doctor, who walked to school, fondly remembers these cold days as well.  You know the old story, uphill both ways, always in the snow, and always barefoot to boot.  Well, he did walk to school.  I don't think the uphill both ways is true though because we all know there are no hills in Indiana.

It's a shame our litigious society has brought us to a place where school officials must make "life or death" decisions to close schools not just for closed or icy roads but for high winds and/or "low" temperatures.  It's also a shame that our American ideal of comfort above all else leads us to believe we need to be spared a little windchill or the threat that it might possibly snow a little later in the day.

Here at the King house we took advantage of the Facebook posts and lovely sunny day at home to once again talk about entitlement and serving others. Every circumstance is an opportunity for teachable moments.  Sometimes the school districts hand them to us on a silver platter.  Here's a brief synopsis:

It's cold.  Too cold?  Who decides?  Why were decisions made as they were?  Are there people who live in colder conditions?  Where?  How do they function?

Who might be most affected by the cold temperatures in this area?  We came up with the homeless, those whose power might go out, those working outside like the trash collectors and mail carriers.

What could families have done if school would have been in session?  Kids could have layered up, parents could have driven them to school or to the bus stop, parents who were working could have made other arrangements with neighbors or friends to take their kids, or again, layer up.

And then we asked ourselves, Where should the body of Christ be?

We should not be complaining about circumstances.  We should remember that there are others who are in worse circumstances than us and then see what we can do to relieve someone else's suffering.

If it's cold and school is in session, we can pick up other children and drive them to school or to the bus stop.  This would help out families whose parents need to work early and who can't drive their children.  But this also means we need to know our neighbors and reach out to those around us so that others will feel comfortable allowing their children to ride with us or to be picked up by us.

If we know of a family that doesn't have the money for proper cold weather gear, we can direct them to local organizations that help out (ie. Wildcat Foundation), or we can share our outgrown or extra clothes, or even buy them what they need.

As a stay-at-home family we need to be willing to volunteer our home and our time so working parents have a place to send their children when school is canceled.  We decided this might not be a good idea for us this year since Victor has a suppressed immune system, but it is something we want to think more about for next year.

And thanks to a reminder from our friend, Amy, we reached out to our mail carrier on this very cold day.  We put a few packets of Eden's famous hot chocolate in the mailbox with a note thanking him for his service to us no matter the weather.  We heard conflicting reports on whether or not mail carriers are allowed to accept gifts but we are thankful that whether or not he could, he did.

As always, we reminded ourselves of two important truths:

1.  It's not about me.

2.  I need to be willing to be uncomfortable so that others are comfortable.

All in all, a good day if I do say so myself.

1 comment:

  1. We were talking about school closing due to the cold today and realized that some children might actually be suffering more due to this decision. Many low income children receive free breakfast and lunch at school, so when school is canceled they may not be receiving these two meals. Also, these same children may be living in houses where there is no heat due to not have the resources to pay for it. Whereas if they were in school, they would be in a heated environment. Interesting to think about how we could help these kids. Also, there was a comment yesterday about these same kids may not have coats to bundle and going to the bus stop or walking would be dangerous to them. We thought about this as a family and realized if that's the case, why don't we organize a coat drive every year or like you said direct them to a discount store. It was a great day to think about how we could reach out to those in need.

    ReplyDelete